photography – create emotional impact!
While in Cincinnati recently, attending the After Dark photography convention, I walked past Tiffany’s on the way to the restaurants. I was immediately drawn to their window displays. Now, I am usually drawn to displays of high-tech toys and cameras and stuff … not displays of jewelry stores. But these window displays were eye-catching and effective. It made me stop to take a closer look.
The photograph above is of one of the six display windows. And it should be immediately obvious why these simple displays have such impact – there is a very clear appeal to your emotions.
If you look at this display window – the sidewalk advert for the business – you should be struck by its utter simplicity. The material cost is very low. Yet it is highly effective.
me <—> you …. the far-away distance & the ring
Instead of opting for a glitzy display, they went for something that speaks to everyone, regardless of income and status. Everyone who has ever been in love can relate to this.
emotional impact in photography
This made me think of how this translates to our photography. Which are the images that linger that we see in magazines, books or the internet? While the intricate imagery that were taken with whizz-bang-wow setups and technology will astonish and impress us … I really do believe that the images that linger with us far longer, are those that speak to us emotionally.
It could be a photo of a loved one. A parent. A child. It could be a memory of a time or place. But the images linger in our mind.
The simplicity or complexity of the photographs may have little to do in the end with how memorable the image is … it is the emotional impact that counts.
As photographers we often get caught up in trying to create images which are technically astonishing. And while the resulting photograph might be very pretty, I’m not sure they will have the same long-term impact as the images which we make an emotional connection with.
For myself, I relate this to my approach to wedding photography. I’m there to record the day’s events, creating images which will have lasting value to everyone who was there with the bride and groom on their day. I think this is also why I have shied away from over-processed images with my wedding photography. No textures and actions – just the photographs themselves. I feel the images should stand up on their own, without being ‘glitzified’ in Photoshop. In fact, by not processing images with the latest fad action set, the images have a greater chance of remaining timeless.
Finally, these window displays reinforced the idea again with me that we should strive to create images with real pull. Real impact. Images that appeal to the emotions.
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